bishop's tall hat, late 14c., from Old French mitre, from Latin mitra "headband, turban," from Greek mitra "headband, turban," earlier a belt or cloth worn under armor about the waist, perhaps from PIE root *mei- "to bind, attach" (source also of Sanskrit mitra- "friend, friendship," Old Persian Mithra-, god name; Russian mir "world, peace"). The Greek word might be borrowed from Indo-Iranian.
In Latin, "a kind of headdress common among Asiatics, the wearing of which by men was regarded in Rome as a mark of effeminacy" [OED]. But the word was used in Vulgate to translate Hebrew micnepheth "headdress of a priest."
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